(Jun 1, 2018 - SHREVEPORT, La.)
Local boater Randy Deaver of Blanchard, Louisiana, grabbed the lead at the 35th annual T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) All-American on Cross Lake Friday with five bass weighing 25 pounds, 3 ounces, bringing his two-day cumulative total to 10 bass weighing 46-3. Deaver will begin the final day of competition with a 3-pound, 10-ounce, advantage over Day One leader and good friend Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Louisiana, who has a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 42-9.
The BFL All-American features 98 of the best boaters and co-anglers from across the 24-division T-H Marine BFL circuit casting for cash prizes of up to $120,000 in the Boater Division and $60,000 in the Co-angler Division. In addition to the six-figure payout, the top boater will receive an invitation to compete for bass fishing’s most coveted prize – the Forrest Wood Cup – held Aug. 10-12 on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
“I basically have a couple of different deals going on out there – running cypress trees and docks,” said Deaver, who is fishing in his first career BFL All-American. “Tomorrow I may go to some offshore stuff that I found late in the day today, but that’s pretty much it. I am winding a little bit, but the main thing I’m doing is flipping.”
Deaver said he fished specific areas of cypress trees on the west end of the lake, and key stretches of trees and docks on the main lake.
“This morning I went to some areas that I fished yesterday and had a couple of key bites,” said Deaver. “I lost one that was probably a 4-plus pounder. I came back an hour later and I’m pretty sure she bit again, but I lost her. I moved along and a few minutes later, in the same tree I caught a 5-pounder yesterday, I caught a big one to get the day started.”
Deaver said his day was highlighted by the fact that he was able to apply tactics he discovered late Thursday.
“I was in one of my key areas and did something that I figured out yesterday and caught one that was about 5¾ pounds around 12:30 (p.m.). That was a confidence builder,” said Deaver.
Deaver said he caught eight keepers Friday, adding that his bite seems to be dependent on weather conditions – an important factor heading into Championship Saturday.
“I need the sun to shine,” said Deaver. “It was pretty cloudy this morning, and I don’t think the fish are positioned right until the sun comes out and it gets hot.
“I’ve got some stuff that I’ve been saving that I’m going to try and run tomorrow. Hopefully, Lord willing, I can get a decent limit before I go try to do some stuff that’s a little unique for here.”
The top 10 boaters advancing to the final day of competition on Cross Lake are:
1st: Randy Deaver, Blanchard, La., 10 bass, 46-3
2nd: Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 10 bass, 42-9
3rd: Roger Fitzpatrick, Eldon, Mo., 10 bass, 39-10
4th: Rob Jordan, Flowery Branch, Ga., 10 bass, 38-5
5th: Adam Wagner, Cookeville, Tenn., 10 bass, 38-1
6th: Tyler Morgan, Columbus, Ga., 10 bass, 37-9
7th: John Duvall, Madison, Ga., 10 bass, 35-6
8th: Marty Sisk, Evansville, Ind., 10 bass, 33-11
9th: Heath Pack, Ellijay, Ga., 10 bass, 33-1
10th: Ben Blaschke, Muldrow, Okla., 10 bass, 32-7
Overall there were 200 bass weighing 562 pounds, 4 ounces, caught by 48 boaters Friday. The catch included 29 five-bass limits.
Jesse Parks of Avondale, Arizona, held the lead in the Co-angler Division Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 4 ounces, followed by Mike Allen of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, in second place with 10 bass weighing 25-12.
The final 10 co-anglers are:
1st: Jesse Parks, Avondale, Ariz., 10 bass, 26-4
2nd: Mike Allen, Crystal Springs, Miss., 10 bass, 25-12
3rd: Matthew Bouldin, Smithville, Tenn., 10 bass, 21-1
4th: Michael Nelms, Hartwood, Va., seven bass, 20-5
5th: James McWhorter, Hamilton, Ohio, six bass, 19-11
6th: Daniel Tuten, Byron, Ga., seven bass, 19-4
7th: Ray Blash, Waynesville, Mo., eight bass, 18-4
8th: Matthew O’Connell, Brooks, Ga., eight bass, 18-2
9th: Hernandez Ruffin, Bellevue, Wash., six bass, 17-6
10th: Brandon Brock, Honea Path, S.C., seven bass, 17-6
Overall there were 109 bass weighing 250 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 40 Co-anglers Friday. The catch included four five-bass limits.
The final 10 boaters and co-anglers will take off Saturday from the American Legion Hall ramp, located at 5315 S. Lakeshore Drive in Shreveport, at 7 a.m. CDT. Saturday’s Championship weigh-in will be held at the Bass Pro Shops, located at 100 Bass Pro Drive in Bossier City, Louisiana, and will begin at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The 2018 BFL All-American on Cross Lake is being hosted by the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.
Television coverage of the 2018 T-H Marine BFL All-American at Cross Lake will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) Aug. 1 from Noon to 1 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
The 2018 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.